When your business has begun to grow, one of the most important steps for companies to take is to start hiring staff. For most businesses, their staff are the biggest investment, which makes hiring the right people in the right way an essential part of any growing organisation.

So, what do business owners need to know if they have never encountered the recruitment process before? Here are three areas to consider when you begin taking on your first employee:

Can you afford the expense?

One of the first questions any small business owner should ask themselves is whether they can afford the cost of taking on a new staff member. While it can be tempting to assume that a new employee will pay for themselves through increased productivity, business owners still need to be sure their company can handle this change.

It also pays to think about why you are hiring a new staff member. Ideally, your new employee will be able to make your business more profitable by expanding your operations.

Do you understand your employment contracts?

One of the most important steps in securing a new employee is ensuring that their employment contract is in order. As well as consulting with a legal firm that has expertise in commercial law, business owners will also need to be sure they have taken the time to understand the legal obligations that come with hiring.

Whether it’s understanding the difference between a contractor and a permanent employee, or calculating leave and other mandatory employee benefits, understanding an employment contract can bring big benefits to small business owners.

What skills are you looking for?

In a small business, hiring the wrong person can be even more damaging to an organisation’s productivity than not hiring anyone at all. Having the wrong person – either because they don’t fit the culture of your business or don’t have the right skills – can take a significant toll on overall performance.

The solution is to plan ahead for your hiring and be sure to have a concrete list of skills that you want to see from a new staff member. This should cover the skills they need and also the personal qualities you want from a new hire.